Texas Sen. Ted Cruz endorses Utah Sen. Mike Lee for Supreme Court with op-ed

Thursday , July 05, 2018 - 8:31 PM

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has an opinion on who should replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, and Utah Sen. Mike Lee is his ultimate wish.

In a Fox News op-ed published Thursday, Cruz called Lee “battle-tested, ready, and willing to serve.”

“Sen. Lee, R-Utah, was made for this moment,” Cruz wrote. “No other candidate has his combination of record, ability, and a sure-fire path to confirmation — and no other candidate would excite conservative voters this November more than someone they know and trust, like Mike Lee.”

Calling Lee “extraordinarily well-qualified,” Cruz cited Lee’s record in the federal government.

“He clerked for two federal judges, including Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito. He was a federal prosecutor, general counsel to the governor of Utah, and has served his home state for the better part of a decade in the U.S. Senate,” Cruz wrote in the Fox News piece.

Cruz said Lee is “a brilliant legal thinker, capable of seeing all sides of an issue through a principled, constitutionalist lens.”

Cruz set up his argument for Lee by recalling previous judges selected by Republican presidents “who failed to live up to the principles they were selected to represent.”

He called David Souter, selected by President George H.W. Bush, “one of the most consequential errors of his presidency.”

Indeed, many of the worst liberal judicial activists, including William Brennan, John Paul Stevens, and Harry Blackmun — the author of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide — were appointed by Republican presidents,” Cruz wrote. “These mistakes haunt the legacies of presidents, a specter they can never shake. We cannot let this happen again.”

According to Cruz, Lee “would interpret the Constitution and laws according to their original meaning and text.”

“A Justice Lee wouldn’t let activist lower courts distort the meaning of our laws and Constitution in order to impose their left-wing preferences on the nation,” Cruz wrote. “After all, who knows better that a judge’s job is to apply the law as it is — and not to legislate from the bench — than someone who was previously a legislator himself?”

Cruz wrote that conservatives wouldn’t have to worry about Lee succumbing to outside pressure.

“We’ve seen time and again judges bending to pressure from the liberal media and the D.C. cocktail party circuit once they get to the high court, moderating their decisions or avoiding tough issues when they matter most,” Cruz wrote.

“But if one thing is certain, it’s that Lee won’t bend his principles in the face of pressure. I’ve seen it myself in the Senate, where Lee has always stood up and fought for what he believed was right, regardless of whether it was popular with the D.C swamp.”

Despite Cruz's support, Lee is not one of the final candidates Trump is considering, according to a Thursday Associated Press report.

AP reported that Trump's preferences are federal appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge.

Trump has said he will announce his selection Monday.

Standard-Examiner copy editor/reporter Ryan Comer can be reached at rcomer@standard.net.

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